State v. Sandoval
Oregon Supreme Court
156 P.3d 60 (2007)
Leonard Sandoval (defendant) and his ex-wife’s boyfriend, Whitcraft, had a history of physically violent encounters. Whitcraft was driving along a road when Sandoval turned onto the road behind him. Whitcraft stopped his truck and backed into Sandoval’s vehicle. Whitcraft then took a handgun from his truck and aimed it at Sandoval. Sandoval took a rifle from his truck, opened his door, and shot Whitcraft, killing him. Police later found Whitcraft’s loaded and cocked handgun underneath his body. The State of Oregon (plaintiff) charged Sandoval with intentional murder. The court instructed the jury on the use of deadly force. Over Sandoval’s objection, the trial court also instructed the jury that Sandoval’s use of deadly force must have been unavoidable and that he must have had no reasonable opportunity to escape or avoid the deadly altercation. The jury convicted Sandoval, and he appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of Oregon granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gillette, J.)
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